Chefs Serve Olympic Village's Surplus Food to Rio's Hungry Population

The initiative provides free meals to Rio's often-overlooked poor population.

ByABC News
August 10, 2016, 12:41 PM

— -- Two socially conscientious chefs have started an initiative to feed Rio de Janeiro's hungry population with surplus food from the Olympic Village during the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

RefettoRio Gastromotiva, the project co-founded by Italian chef Massimo Bottura and Brazilian chef David Hertz, aims to "offer food and dignity to people in situations of social vulnerability," according to a statement released by the City of Rio, which is supporting the initiative by providing a building for the group to use in the city center.

A team of international chefs will create meals daily from the surplus of "non-manipulated" ingredients donated to them by the catering company that feeds the Olympic Village (including more than 11,000 athletes), the Olympic Media Center, and the rest of the workforce of the Rio 2016 Games.

RafettoRio Gastromotiva is supported by a team of more than 40 organizations and individuals and hopes to continue to provide free meals to the hungry population of Rio even after all the athletes and spectators go home by relying on donations from sponsors, according to the City of Rio, which has given the group the building for the next 10 years.

The concept of providing free meals to the often-overlooked population of Rio is inspired by Bottura's Refetterio Ambrosiano, an initiative where 65 international chefs cooked meals with food that would otherwise go to waste during the Milan World Expo in 2015.

Brazil is suffering its worst economic crisis in decades, in the midst of hosting the 2016 Olympic Games and two years after it hosted the FIFA World Cup, The Associated Press reported this week.

Many Brazilians protested for improvements in education and health care, the AP reported, rather than high-spending on mega-sporting events.

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